Lemon Greek Yogurt Cheesecake Bars
The bright, lemon flavor of these creamy Lemon Greek Yogurt Cheesecake Bars will put a smile on your face! An easy dessert for Easter, Mother’s Day, or any spring occasion!
Can you believe that yesterday was the first day of spring? This is the time of year where we have a mix of warm, sunny days and cooler cloudy ones with a few rain showers here and there. It’s the best of both worlds, as we don’t get tired of either endless hot or endless freezing temperatures.
As the weather warms up and summer approaches, I think many of us have a renewed energy to put towards healthy habits. January and February are hard months, as the excitement of New Year’s goals wears off quickly (at least for me!) and summer seems so far off. Once March and April hit, though, goals seem more doable again.
It’s easier to get outside for a walk or a run, we may want to do a little spring cleaning and organization, and healthier eating habits replace our cravings for winter comfort foods.
What are you working on right now? I’m trying to fit more movement into my busy days, as well as reach for healthy, nutrient-dense snacks when I get hungry throughout the day. Planning ahead is key.
I still treat myself to dessert every once in a while, and when I do I try to make it a healthier version. We all need a little sweetness in our lives, right? 😉 With Easter coming up soon, I thought you might need an easy, spring-y dessert recipe.
Have you tried Greek yogurt cheesecake? If you haven’t, I think you’re gonna LOVE it. This recipe has zero cream cheese – that creamy cheesecake layer is all thanks to Greek yogurt. It’s light, tangy, and will completely satisfy your cheesecake cravings!
I’ve made Greek yogurt cheesecake before when I made these pumpkin cheesecake bars, as well as a Greek yogurt cheesecake tart. Those recipes are some of my very favorites, but I have to say these Lemon Greek Yogurt Cheesecake Bars with a shortbread crust are my new favorite of the bunch. These lemon almond flour shortbread cookies are another lemon favorite!
These Greek yogurt cheesecake bars are just bursting with bright lemon flavor. I made mine with Meyer lemons… yum! I like to serve these with a few fresh berries on top. They are so pretty with the berries and make a lovely lighter dessert for any spring occasion!
What healthy habits are you working on at the moment? Trying to fit more exercise into your day? Working on eating more fruits and vegetables? Trying to avoid processed, packaged foods? Starting the day with a healthy breakfast? I’d love to know what kinds of recipes and posts can help you to meet your goals!
Lemon Greek Yogurt Cheesecake Bars
For the Shortbread Crust:
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour (or all purpose flour)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest (from 1 small lemon)
- 6 tablespoons cold (unsalted butter, cut into cubes)
- 1 tablespoon cold milk
For the Cheesecake:
- 3 cups full fat Greek yogurt (2% will work but we prefer these with the full-fat yogurt)
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 eggs
- heaping tablespoon lemon zest
- ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice (you will need 2-3 medium lemons for zest and juice)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- fresh berries (for serving)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8x8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. Line the pan with parchment paper so that you have a parchment overhang on two opposite sides.
Make the Shortbread Crust:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and lemon zest. Add in the butter cubes and mix on low speed for 1 minute. Increase speed to medium and mix for 3 more minutes, until pieces of butter are the size of very small peas. Turn mixer off, add the milk, and mix on medium-low speed until the dough holds together when you press it with your fingers, 1-2 minutes more. It will still look a bit crumbly.
- Transfer dough to prepared pan and use your fingers to press the dough into an even layer in the bottom of the pan. Bake crust for about 15 minutes, until barely golden. Place on a wire rack to cool slightly while you make the filling.
Make the Greek Yogurt Cheesecake:
- Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
- Wash out the mixer bowl and return it to the stand mixer. Place Greek yogurt, sugar, and cornstarch in the mixer bowl and mix until well combined. Add in eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla and mix until smooth.
- Pour the cheesecake mixture on top of baked crust and spread into an even layer. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until cheesecake is just set.
- Let cheesecake cool on a wire rack for 1-2 hours, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 3 hours before serving.
- When ready to serve, use the parchment overhang to carefully remove the bars from the pan. Slice into 12 bars, top with fresh berries, and serve. Cheesecake bars will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
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